Orion cross country ready to run

Mindy Carls
Orion High School

After a shortened season because of COVID-19 last fall, the Orion harriers are ready for the challenge of a full schedule and a chance to run at state, coach Morgan Matson said.

They’re also looking forward to testing themselves at invitationals, such as the Rock Falls Rocket Run on Tuesday, Aug. 24. Those were cancelled last year.

Matson’s girls won the Three Rivers Conference in 2020, and the girls advanced to the Seneca sectional. But that’s as far as the IHSA schedule went.

The Chargers are young this year. Kade Scharpman is the only senior among the returning varsity letter winners. The others were juniors Melaina Meisenburg, Luke Moen and Eric Thorndyke and sophomores Olivia Thomsen and Gus Nedved.

New to the varsity are seniors Maggie Nedved and Alec Noyd, junior Anika Duhs, sophomores Te’Kail Barnes and Nick Shillington, and freshmen Cash Duhs and Lance Moore.

“Olivia Thomsen and Luke Moen will be the leaders for both sides,” Matson said. “We’ve lost a lot of experience this year, so they will have to lead the way in both attitude and effort.

“This will be a year to build experience and strength over a 3-mile course,” she said.

Erie-Prophetstown and Sherrard will compete for the conference championship, Matson said. She is hoping to field a full team of girls, and have one of the boys step up to fill the fifth position that would give them a full team.